The first game in club history will take place Saturday, May 14 at Austin-East High School against Asheville City SC. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. and all proceeds from the first game will be donated directly to Austin-East.
One Knoxville has cultivated a close relationship with the school since its foundation in 2020. The club worked with University of Tennessee Athletics to host the Roadrunners boys soccer team senior night at Regal Stadium, the home of the UT women’s soccer team, after their opponents were reluctant to play at their regular home venue due to safety concerns.
One Knoxville and Big Slate Media, a local production company, collaborated to create a documentary chronicling the Austin-East boys’ soccer team’s run to their first-ever state championship in 2021.
In January, One Knoxville created a fundraiser to repair the school’s baseball field after it was damaged by a vandal. Their goal of $10,000 was exceeded roughly four hours after the GoFundMe was created. The Austin-East marching band was gifted nearly $30,000 in April after One Knoxville sponsored their performance at an annual charity dinner.
Sadibou Seck, an integral part of Austin-East’s first-ever state championship team, is one of several players with local ties who will suit up for One Knoxville this season.
The inaugural match will also be the first of a two-game set called “The Smoky Mountain Series.” They will travel to North Carolina for the return leg on June 21. The winner of the series will be awarded a unique trophy.
Following the season opener at Austin-East, their next two home matches will be held at Knoxville Catholic High School. The final four home games will be held at Maryville College.
One Knoxville will compete in the Deep South Division of USL2’s Southern Conference. The top two teams from the Deep South Division will advance to the playoffs where they’ll face off with other Southern Conference leaders for a spot in the national semifinals.
USL League Two is a developmental league that allows college-level and elite high school players with professional aspirations to participate in high-level competition while maintaining NCAA eligibility. The team plans to move up to USL League One, a fully professional league recognized as the third tier of American soccer.
Last year, the club signed an agreement with Boyd Sports that will see the club play future home matches at the $80-million multiuse stadium to be built in the Old City neighborhood of downtown Knoxville. The stadium is expected to be open in time for the 2025 Tennessee Smokies baseball season, though officials have not ruled out that it may be ready to host other events by 2024.